Fran Hoepfner is still stuck on Brahms, luckily, since the orchestra was too: “The piano is to reckoned with. Maybe it’s a protagonist in the face of adversity. Maybe I’m projecting. Who’s to say? After almost ten years of knowing this piece — and this movement in particular — I don’t feel any closer to it than when I started. The more I learn about Brahms, the more unsettling it becomes. It’s a Rubik’s cube of a piece.”
“If you never in your lifetime imagined that you’d see a man in a bowtie and tailcoat playing Rachmaninov on a badger, well, now you have. You’re welcome.” (video)
“There are no science critics… Science is not founded on a compact between maker and receiver. The art critic, however, formalizes and deliberately exemplifies the role of the spectator who realizes the artist’s work—not by leaving it just as it is, but by adding something to it, making a personal contribution.”
Lisa Lucas: “I do think it matters that I come from outside of the publishing industry – it gives one a completely different perspective. It’s a boon to be able to learn from film, theater and publishing and to apply all these strengths to the task at hand. For instance, theater is incredible at audience development.”
“Some call it ‘verbing,’ which sounds like a new dance craze, while linguistic nerds call it denominalization. Benjamin Franklin preferred to call it ‘awkward and abominable’ … [but] Shakespeare was also quite the inveterate verber.” This very article, in fact, elbows its way through the controversy.
“The Truck Art Project features work from leading contemporary Spanish artists on Spanish transport company Palibex’s fleet of trucks, thanks to an initiative from Palibex CEO and art collector Jaime Colsa in collaboration with Madrid’s Iam Gallery.”
“The real question his biographer needs to answer is the impossible one: how a sixtyish architect from Los Angeles ever came to imagine, much less build, the coppery metal carapace of the Guggenheim Museum in the heart of Basque country, in the declining port city of Bilbao. Before that 1997 project, and the subsequent plan to build a new concert hall in Los Angeles, Gehry was best known for constructing cheap buildings of cheap materials in the funky geometric shapes that began to punctuate the cityscape of Los Angeles in the disco era.”
“Filmmaker Firas Alshater was imprisoned for his activism in Syria. He became a sensation on social media after blindfolding himself in a Berlin public plaza with a sign that read: ‘I am a Syrian refugee. I trust you – do you trust me?'” (audio; includes video)
“Now, a startup backed by Sean Parker of Facebook and Napster fame … called the Screening Room … offers secure anti-piracy technology that will offer new releases in the home on the same day they hit theaters.” But it will cost a lot more than the price of two cinema tickets.
“It’s an opportunity to share one of our stories through an artform that isn’t ours, yet a lot of our artistic values and really critical messaging around Indian residential schools comes out in a very comprehensive way in this artform called ballet.”
“She is discovering details that have been overlooked for centuries, from mistranscriptions and mysterious seals to an unpublished document tucked away in the Venice state archives that describes Italian and French diplomats attending ‘Pericles’ in London.”
“In 2007, the top image of a woman was a stereotypical objectified woman, looking passive while naked and tangled in sheets. In 2012, it’s actually a woman on a train. … She’s wearing clothes, and that’s thrilling! She has a journey and feels like the hero of her own narrative.”
Jack Fritscher: “We became bi-coastal lovers for more than two years and remained friends for ever. We fricated our edginess together. We were both re-quivering Catholics mixing the sacred and the profane. … It was sex, love, art, letters, phone calls and business. It was life.”
“The Harry Potter author … has been accused of appropriating the ‘living tradition of a marginalised people’ by writing about the Navajo legend of the skinwalker in a new story” on her Pottermore website.
“[Guy] Cogeval, who has led the museum since 2008, applied for a third term, but his ability to lead the museum, particularly after suffering a stroke in 2014, has been openly challenged by the museum’s staff.” But France’s brand-new culture minister convinced President Hollande to let Cogeval stay on for one more year.
“[Martha] Tedeschi, who serves as deputy director for art and research at the Art Institute [of Chicago], comes to the Harvard post with deep curatorial roots – experience that she says will help her oversee museum programming that serves the university’s student population while also welcoming the public.”
“In the modern age we can chuckle over medieval naiveté, but we often suffer from similar conceptual confusions. We have our share of phlegm theories, which flatter our intuitions while explaining nothing. They’re compelling, they often convince, but at a deeper level they’re empty.”
“Among college students, research finds a substantial link between higher narcissism levels and regular viewing of certain TV genres, including reality series, sports, and political talk shows.”
“Could you tell a person something like, ‘ignore everyone not wearing glasses,’ to find Waldo more efficiently? Probably not.”
“The synchronistic physical activity of choristers appears to create an unusually strong bond, giving members the emotionally satisfying experience of temporarily ‘disappearing’ into a meaningful, coherent body.”
“A few people develop a compulsive urge to crack jokes 24 hours a day, with a medical condition called Witzelsucht. Why does it happen?”
“A master of the berimbau, a single-string, multi-toned Afro-Brazilian instrument, he is best known for collaborations with Brazilians Milton Nascimento and Egberto Gismonti, Argentine Gato Barbieri and Americans Don Cherry and Pat Metheny.”
“How can we do it better and should we even be doing it in the first place?” Does your organization look the same as it did five years ago? What about your creative practice? … read more
AJBlog: Field Notes Published 2016-03-09
Sharing is Caring.
People tend to talk more frequently about their successes, rather than their failures. This is natural, but it can make you feel awfully small when you think you’re the only one in … read more
AJBlog: Field Notes Published 2016-03-09
When You Might Want to Worry
It’s day four of our journey in the land of failure. To date, the news has been fairly positive, if not supportive. It has focused on the celebration, the motivation. … read more
AJBlog: Field Notes Published 2016-03-09
Selfies in the museum, Victorian edition
Pacific Standard reports that “Surprised museum researchers find many visitors snap photographs of themselves with the masterpieces.” I’m not sure which researchers are actually surprised by this. But by coincidence I am now reading … read more
AJBlog: For What it’s Worth Published 2016-03-09
Last year ArtsMemphis invited me to speak and do a little consulting work. In the process I learned about their Community Engagement Fellows program and that program’s focus on the Orange Mound neighborhood in Memphis. … read more
AJBlog: Engaging Matters Published 2016-03-08
Juggling with monotheism – Akhnaten makes a spectacle of himself
For all the thunder that surrounds his productions, Philip Glass is undersung and underpraised. His superb memoir, Words without Music, recounts how he entered the University of Chicago, … read more
AJBlog: Plain English Published 2016-03-09
Do we connect?
There’s something I miss at classical new music concerts, even if I like the music I’m hearing. So yes, many of us in the classical biz think new music is important, crucial to support, … read more
AJBlog: Sandow Published 2016-03-09
Ornette Day, bits of wisdom with video clips
Ornette Coleman’s birthday is today, and his son Denardo has invited everyone to a walk with him from noon to three in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, where his father, the prophet of Harmolodics, is interred … read more
AJBlog: Jazz Beyond Jazz Published 2016-03-09
Dvorak on the Reservation
Sisseton, in the northeastern corner of South Dakota, sits within a Dakota Indian reservation called Sisseton Wahpeton. The population – 2,500 – is half Native American, half non-Native. Last Monday … read more
AJBlog: Unanswered Question Published 2016-03-09
“I’m only interested in doing stuff that’s hard to do, that’s challenging, and as a result pays off or blows up in your face.”
“On opening night in January, I almost jumped out of my seat. I’m no math whiz, but I could project potential book sales: 650 seats in the Samuel J. Friedman Theater, eight performances weekly, six weeks before completing its limited run. … My wife immediately nudged me back to earth.”